Configuring sync with Google is easy. Select an addressbook to sync with Google, and choose:
- Personal Address Book if you want contacts auto-added by Thunderbird to appear in Google. You’ll have one set of contacts.
- email@example.com if you want to manage your Google contacts separately from other contacts.
When you first sync an addressbook, you may encounter Google’s rules for contacts:
- an email address can only appear in one contact
- no empty contacts
These rules are enforced in Gmail’s contact interface and to sync with Google, your Thunderbird addressbook must comply with them too.
Early versions of the Zindus addon took a “hands off” approach to rule violations by simply reporting them.
The addon now displays a summary of Google rule violations:
In this example, three contacts reference the same email address. “bloggs,fred” is selected because it is the contact with data in the most fields.
‘Confirm’ preserves the selected contact and deletes the other two.
‘Skip’ leaves the contacts unchanged. You make the necessary edits using the Thunderbird addressbook.
Select ‘don’t ask’ if you want the addon to fix subsequent rule violations without asking:
- if several contacts reference an email address, the addon preserves the ‘best’ one and deletes the rest
- if contacts are ‘empty’ (meaning there is no data in any fields that map to Google) then they are deleted.
The ‘don’t ask’ feature is turned off by default. Rule violations are mostly fixed on the first sync and never encountered again. But a few users find themselves bumping into rule violations on an ongoing basis, possibly because of Thunderbird bugs or Google glitches. For these folks, the ‘don’t ask’ preference allows safety to be traded off against conveniece.
As a nod to safety, unsynced contacts “deleted” when fixing Google rule violations are actually moved into a addon-managed addressbook named zindus/ToBeDeleted. This feature is a poor-man’s workaround to the absence of a “Trash for contacts” feature in Thunderbird or Google. zindus/ToBeDeleted is emptied frequently and its purpose is to assist with recovery of “oops, I chose the wrong contact” mistakes. Note that any Google contacts in this addressbook will only contain those fields that map to Thunderbird.
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